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Monday, April 7, 2014

Learn to Master Time

"I think we must do exercises in stopping time and in standing in the present, in this 'now' which is my present and which is also the intersection of eternity with time," writes Orthodox Archbishop Anthony Bloom in Beginning to Pray.

He then suggests a way to do this: "sit down and say 'I am seated, I am doing nothing.  I will do nothing for five minutes', and then relax and continually throughout this time . . . realize, 'I am here in the presence of God, in my own presence . . . just still, moving nowhere.'

"Learn to master time, and you will be able--whatever you do, whatever the stress, in the storm, in the tragedy, or simply in the confusion in which we continuously live--to be still, immobile in the present, face to face with the Lord, in silence or in words.

"If you use words, then you can bring to God all that is around you, all the storm.  If you are silent, you can rest in the 'eye' of the cyclone or the hurricane, in the calm there, but leaving the storm around you to rage, while you are where God is, at the only point of total stability.

"But this point of total stability is not a point where nothing happens.

"It is the point where all the conflicting tensions meet and are counterbalanced by one another and are held in the powerful hand of God."

(Beginning to Pray, Paulist Press, 1970, pages 83-91.)